Exposure to dangerous chemicals is a scary prospect, and toxic tort lawyers regularly handle claims for exposure to common household chemicals. Thus, one of the most critical places to eliminate harmful chemicals is in your home. So, what chemicals can you look out for and eliminate? Here are a few suggestions from a toxic torts lawyer.
What Is a Toxic Chemical?
In our area of law, we consider a chemical toxic and dangerous when it causes serious illnesses or health problems in humans. Sometimes substances thought to be safe turn out to be otherwise. In other cases, hazardous chemicals which are not supposed to be in a person’s environment get there through leaks or contaminations.
The consequences of exposure to these chemicals are often the subject of toxic tort lawsuits, which individuals or groups of people can file when they suffer harm and meet other criteria.
Common Toxic Household Chemicals
One of the most common toxic household substances is what is known as asbestos. Many think asbestos is no longer used or has likely been eliminated from their surroundings. Unfortunately, this is not true.
In many places, building materials may still contain a small percentage of asbestos. Older buildings will often have high ratios because the material was considered safe when they were built.
You can eliminate the potential harm of asbestos by becoming educated in what building materials you should keep out of your home and avoiding major DIY renovations. Instead, hire a professional who can identify asbestos and know when remediation is needed.
Another potential toxin is benzyl benzoate, which is found in some over-the-counter products, foods, and beauty products. For example, it is used to kill lice and sometimes can be found as a food additive or in perfumes and plastics. Many suspect it is a neurotoxin.
Look at labels and eliminate household products or items that contain this toxin. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer and ask.
Other common household toxins are volatile organic compounds. These are frequently manmade and have high vapor pressure and low water solubility. They are more common in your home than you may realize. These include paints, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office supplies, hobby and crafting glues, permanent markers, and more.
They can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and, more concerningly, cancer, kidney problems, damage to the nervous system, and more. Infants and fetuses are more prone to the risks of these compounds than others.
A third example is polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These chemicals are frequently used to “fireproof” furniture, carpet, building materials, electronics, etc. They can build up in a person’s body with time and have been associated with tumors, cognitive problems, and thyroid issues. Hundreds if not thousands of more examples exist of toxic chemicals that can make their way into your home.
Speak With an Attorney
If you believe you or a loved one has been injured by a toxic chemical, substance, medication, or product, you may have a legal claim. Your claim could be against various parties, including manufacturers, distributors, and companies that transport or store chemicals that cause harm. We invite you to contact our office today for a free consultation. We can help you evaluate all of your legal rights and remedies.